Middle East And North Africa Public Announcement
Issued by US Department of State
Nov 08, 2003
This Public Announcement is being updated to remind U.S. citizens of the
continuing threat of anti-American violence, including terrorist actions
that may involve commercial aircraft and maritime interests, specifically in
the Middle East, including the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, the Arabian Peninsula
and North Africa. This Public Announcement supersedes the Public
Announcement issued on September 30, 2003, and expires on May 5, 2004.
The Department of State reminds U.S. citizens traveling to the Middle East
and North Africa that there remains a potential threat to U.S. citizens and
interests in the region posed by those harboring anti-American sentiments,
including the risk of attacks by terrorist groups. The U.S. Government
remains deeply concerned about the security of U.S. citizens overseas. U.S.
citizens are encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take
appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.
Credible information has indicated terrorist groups may be planning attacks
against U.S. interests in the Middle East. Terrorist actions may include
suicide operations, bombings, hijackings or kidnappings. These may also
involve commercial aircraft and maritime interests. While conventional
weapons such as explosive devices are a more immediate threat in many areas,
use of non-conventional weapons, including chemical or biological agents
must be considered a possible threat. Terrorists do not distinguish between
official and civilian targets. Increased security at official U.S.
facilities has led terrorists and their sympathizers to seek softer targets
such as public transportation, residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places
of worship, hotels, schools, outdoor recreation events, resorts and beaches.
On occasion, the travel of official personnel at embassies and consulates
around the world is restricted because of security concerns, and these posts
may recommend that private U.S. citizens avoid the same areas if at all
possible. Services to U.S. citizens may be affected if employees' movements
are restricted. If this happens, U.S. embassies and consulates will make
every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. In case office
hours are reduced, U.S. citizens in need of emergency assistance should
telephone the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate before visiting in person.
In addition, U.S. citizens planning to travel to the Middle East or North
Africa should consult the Department of State's country-specific Public
Announcements, Travel Warnings, Consular Information Sheets, the Worldwide
Caution Public Announcement and other information available on the
Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov. Up-to-date
information on security conditions can also be obtained by calling
1-888-407-4747 in the U.S. or, for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a
regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328.